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When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of this book, was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School. With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case. Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.
This is an updated version of the book first published by Ravan Press in 1998. New material has been added, including an introduction to the new edition, as well as two new chapters analysing the historiography of the uprisings as well as reflecting on memory and commemoration as social, cultural and historical projects.
Almost Human is the personal story of a charismatic and visionary palaeontologist, a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.
In 2013, Wits University reasearch professor Lee Berger caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave near Johannesburg. He put out a call around the world for collaborators – men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of ‘underground astronauts’, Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known pre-hominids with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species: Homo naledi.
The cave proved to be the richest pre-hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that challenge how we define ourselves as human. Did these ancestors of ours bury their dead? If so, they must have had an awareness of death, a level of self-knowledge: the very characteristic we used to define ourselves as human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?
Addressing these questions, Berger counters the arguments of those colleagues who have questioned his controversial interpretations and astounding finds.
The head of a business empire, Harry Oppenheimer played an influential role in twentieth century South Africa, a role that is celebrated by some and condemned by others.
This book investigates Oppenheimer’s political thinking, drawing from his speeches over the years. It looks at his views on liberalism, apartheid, socialism, sanctions, trade unions, education, geopolitics, the press and the legacy of Cecil John Rhodes.
It probably took a fraction of a second from the knock - a single bang - to the opening of the door and the entry of an unexpected visitor into the room. They had just finished their lunch. The unannounced visitor ...simply pretended that everything was normal. There he stood - unfazed and somehow gigantic in his presence. The room had suddenly been invaded by a man who was to be a landmark in the lives of the trainees...
The book opens in China, 1962. Andrew Mlangeni is one of a small select group undergoing military training. The unannounced visitor is Mao Tse-Tung. While still at school, Andrew Mlangeni joined the Communist Party of South Africa and also the ANC Youth League. These were the organisations that shaped his values. Decades of resourceful activism were to lead to his arrest and life sentence in the Rivonia trial. Mlangeni's lifelong commitment to the struggle for liberation reverberates with other biographies of leading figures. His perspective comes from a somewhat ambiguous position in the hierarchy of liberation leaders. Mlangeni was selected as one of the first-ever six members who received military training in China before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He seems to have been chosen because he was a dedicated, intelligent and dependable operative, rather than a leader.
Even after his release after 25 years on Robben Island, Mlangeni was not given a senior position in the post-apartheid democratic government. 'I was always the backroom boy,' says Andrew Mlangeni about himself. This story of an ANC elder is a rigorously researched historical record overlaid with intensely personal reflections which intersect with the political narrative. Above all, it is one man's story, set in the maelstrom of the liberation struggle.
This biographical project has been developed for, and published in conjunction with, the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.
Iasteroid ebukhulu bulingana neNtaba yeTafi le yawela kwindawo ekunamhlanje nje ebizwa ngokuba nguMzantsi Afrika kwiminyaka eziibhiliyoni ezimbini eyadlulayo, yaza ngoko ke yaphawula le ndawo. Ukusuka ngoko imbali yeli lizwe yomelela kwaye yanobungangamsha obungaphaya. Le incwadi ikusa ngqo kuloo mzuzu, kanye ekuqalekeni kwezo ngqaqa zegolide, ukuza kuthi ga ekuqalekeni kwedemokrasi, into apha eyamangalisa ihlabathi jikelele.
Xa uphendla le ncwadi uza kuhlangana nezinye zeedayinaso zakudaladala ezarekhodishwayo, uza kuhlangana nabantu bokuqala ngqa kwiplanethi iphela, kwakunye neenkcubeko zokuqala ngqa apha ehlabathini. Uza kubona abangeneleli bengena kweli lizwekazi kwakunye nefuthe labo ekuguqukeni kwembali yeli: abazingeli nabaqokeleli, abalimi nabafuyi, abasebenzi besinyithi abasuka emantla, kwakunye neembacu nabafudukeli abasuka eYurophu naseAsia. Bonke aba bantu babesilwa kodwa balumilisela noxolo, bahlangana nedayimane kunye negolide bengalindele, baqaqamba ekwenzeni izinto-yinto baza batshona dzwabha phantsi kwengcinezelo, de ngenye imini bafola bebonke ngokulinganayo ukuze benyule urhulumente oza kubafaka kule nkulungwane yeminyaka yamashumi amabini ananye njengesizwe sedemokrasi.
Eli libali eliqaqanjiswe ziidayinaso, iidayimane kunye nedemokrasi.
An asteroid the size of Table Mountain crashed into what was to become South Africa over 2 billion years ago, marking the spot. The country’s history since then has always been robust and full of energy. This book takes you in record time from that moment, when the earth’s richest gold reefs were shaped, to the advent of democracy in 1994, another event that stunned the world, and beyond. Along the way you will encounter some of the most ancient dinosaurs on record, the very first people on the planet, and the first cultures. You will see outsiders moving in to reshape history: hunters and gatherers, cultivators and herders, iron-workers from the north, and immigrants from Europe and Asia. They fought and made peace; they stumbled upon gold and diamonds; they rose to the heights of excellence and sank to the depths of oppression, until on one day they all queued as equals to elect a government. That is the story marked by dinosaurs, diamonds and democracy.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future.
Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate - in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions.
The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions - Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, Black Consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.
’n Asteroïde so groot soos Tafelberg tref meer as twee miljard jaar gelede die plek wat uiteindelik Suid-Afrika sou word. Ná dié slag volg ’n onstuimige geskiedenis.
Die storie begin in die tyd toe die aarde se rykste goudneerslae gevorm is. Van hier strek die verhaal tot verby die geboorte van demokrasie in 1994 – ’n ander gebeurtenis wat die wêreld se asem weggeslaan het. Langs die weg kom ’n mens die oudste dinosourusse wat ooit gelewe het teë, asook die planeet se heel eerste mense en vroegste kulture. Inkomelinge het die geskiedenis gevorm – jagterversamelaars, landbouers en kuddewagters, ystersmede vanuit die noorde, en immigrante vanuit Europa en Asië.
Suid-Afrika se mense het oorlog gemaak en vrede gesluit, goud en diamante ontdek, glorieryke hoogtes bereik en in die dieptes van onderdrukking verval – totdat almal op ’n dag as gelykes in ’n ry ingeval het om vir ’n regering te stem wat hulle as demokratiese volk die een-en-twintigste eeu sou binnelei. Dit is die verhaal van dinosourusse, diamante en demokrasie.
South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. The present situation is, in objective terms, a house divided; a house that is tottering on rotten foundations. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC’s rule since 1994, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital. The ANC has become the key political vehicle – in party and state form as well as application – of corporate capital: domestic and international, black and white, local and national, and constitutive of a range of different fractions. As a result, ‘transformation’ has largely taken the form of acceptance of, combined with incorporation into, the capitalist ‘house’, now minus its formal apartheid frame.
What has happened in South Africa over the last 22 years is the corporatisation of liberation, the political and economic commodification of the ANC and societal development. Those in positions of leadership and power within the ANC have allowed themselves to be lured by the siren calls of power and money, to be sucked in by the prize of ‘capturing’ institutional sites of power, to be seduced by the egoism and lifestyles of the capitalist elite.
This book tells that ‘story’ by offering a critical, fact-based and actively informed holistic analysis of the ANC in power, as a means to: better explain and understand the ANC and its politics as well as South Africa’s post-1994 trajectory; contribute to renewed discussion and debate about power and democracy; and help identify possible sign-posts to reclaim revolutionary, universalist and humanist values as part of the individual and collective struggle for the systemic change South Africa’s democracy needs.
This story of a middle-class white South African family unfolds between the years 1939 and 1964 - a transformative period in South Africa’s political landscape.
It is told through the eyes and experiences of the younger son and his rite of passage into a country of racial segregation that gradually opens his eyes to the many injustices imposed upon the majority of the country’s population, coupled with a realization that his white privileges are sustained at the brutal expense of others.
Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.
Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.
In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’
Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.
John Kane-Berman is uniquely qualified to look back over the enormous political and social changes that have taken place in his lifetime in this fractious country. In his career as student leader, Rhodes Scholar, newspaperman, independent columnist, speech maker, commentator, and Chief Executive, for thirty years, of the South African Institute of Race Relations, Kane-Berman has been at the coal face of political change in South Africa.
The breadth and depth of ideas and events covered here are striking: the disintegration of apartheid, the chaos of the ‘people’s war’ and its contribution to the broader societal breakdown we see today, the liberal slide-away, the authoritarian ANC with its racial ideology and revolutionary goals, to mention only a few. Kane-Berman’s willingness to confront received wisdom is thoroughly refreshing, and he is forthright about the threats to freedom, democracy, and growth in contemporary South Africa, many of which he identified even before the ANC came to power.
Writing, debate, and reasoned argument have been Kane-Berman’s stock in trade and his clarity of vision and personal insight have created a memoir of rare candour and absorbing interest.
At just 17, Fatima Meer threw herself into resisting racism, her first public act of defiance in a long and pioneering political life. Despite assassination attempts, she persevered on the courageous path she had chosen.
In this intimate memoir, Fatima Meer shares her story of growing up and of love, joy, longing and loss. As Meer open-heartedly reflects on her regrets as well as her triumphs, an enchanting tale emerges of a rebellious, revolutionary woman who never shied away from the truth.
Die gesprek oor Afrikaans en die bruin mense wat die skrywers in hierdie boek aanroer, is tydig in die opsig dat ná al die ambivalensie oor die Afrikaans van ons hart en die onverkwiklike manier waarop ons in hierdie taal verdruk en misken is, ons ons vry heid gekry het – wat ook verantwoordelikheid meebring om minstens onder mekaar klaarheid te vind oor wat nou vorentoe met ons taal moet gebeur.
Dit is onomstootlik so dat ons as bruin mense die aard van die Khoisan en swart African met ons saamdra. Dit is net so waar dat ons ook Europees in die Anglosaksiese sin van die woord is. Ons is tewens ook trots bewus van ons Asiatiese herkoms. Afrikaans is ook die taal van ons slawevoorouers.
Ons moet al hierdie tradisies vir onsself toe-eien.
Ever since 1503 when an off-course seafarer climbed Table Mountain to find out where on Earth he was, visitors to the Cape have toiled, scrambled, ridden on horseback, climbed or run to the top ... and written about it afterwards.
Taken together, these reports provide a fascinating biography of the mountain. Looked at separately, they are thrilling reads, penned by larger-than-life voyagers and, often unlikely, adventurers. The life-stories of 27 visitors are told with flair and humour. Together with the accounts of the ascents, they provide a riveting read.
This is the first time that the English translations of these reports, written in various languages, including Russian and Swedish, have been collected in one volume.
Jan Christiaan Smuts was ’n soldaat, staatsman, intellektueel en een van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers. Tog word daar vandag min oor hom gepraat of geskryf, al beleef ons tans skynbaar ’n leierskapsvakuum.
In Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense voer Richard Steyn aan dat ons hierdie indrukwekkende kryger-staatsman se lewe en denke moet herbesoek, omdat daar soveel te leer is uit sy merkwaardige prestasies. Die hoogs leesbare verslag ondersoek onder meer Smuts se rol as politieke leier, as adviseur van wêreldleiers, sy spirituele en intellektuele lewe en sy verhoudings met vroue. Sy unieke bydraes op ŉ verskeidenheid ander terreine, insluitend botanie, bewaring en filosofie, word ook bespreek.
Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense skram egter nie weg van die paradoksale in Smuts nie. Hoewel hy een van die argitekte van die Verenigde Nasies en ŉ groot kampvegter vir menseregte was, kon hy nie so ver kom om die plaaslike swart meerderheid politieke regte te gun nie.
Situated between the Hottentots Holland Mountains and the Breede River, the Overberg is an important agricultural region and a popular holiday destination for tourists and nature lovers who delight in the beauty of its mountainous landscape, abundant plant species and long sandy beaches.
But this area also has a rich history going back thousands of years, when the indigenous Khoi people originally thrived there, before the first European settlers arrived to leave their own indelible imprint on the culture, architecture and character of the region. This book provides a detailed account of this past by pointing out the many places, buildings, events and personalities that have made the Overberg the diverse and unique place that it is today.
The Overberg has been a home or point of interest for explorers, innovators, artists and writers, for figures as varied as Bartholomew Diaz, Olof Bergh, Hendrik Verwoerd, Gregoire Boonzaier, Audrey Blignault and Breyten Breytenbach. Some of South Africa’s oldest towns, houses and missionary stations can be found here, and its treacherous coastline has been the cause of hundreds of shipwrecks for centuries.
Enlivened by historical and current photographs and informative side panels, this book is a collector’s item.
Internationally-renowned historian Hermann Giliomee has himself been intimately involved in the unfolding drama of South Africa’s history, as participant at the Dakar talks with the ANC, as outspoken commentator for the English press, and as leading thinker on the Afrikaners. Giliomee’s lucidity and original insights make this more than just his own story. It is also a gripping narrative, filled with anecdotes and revealing inner workings of the Afrikaner establishment.
Patriots & Parasites, completed just days before Smuts’s unexpected death in 2016, is her account of the momentous period known as the Transition Era, through the lens of her 25-year career as a key opposition MP and a respected legislator.
With ambitious breadth and rare insight, she examines:
South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 heralded the end of more than forty years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity started the process of bringing together this deeply divided society principally through the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
However, interest in – and responsibility for - the reconciliation project first embodied through the TRC appears to have diminished over more than two decades of democracy. The narrow mandate of the Commission itself has been retrospectively criticised, and at face value it would seem that deep divisions persist: the chasm between rich and poor gapes wider than ever before; the public is polarised over questions of restitution and memorialisation; and incidents of racialised violence and hate speech continue.
This edited volume uses a decade of public opinion survey data to answer these key questions about the extent of progress in South African reconciliation. Leading social scientists analyse longitudinal data derived from the South African Reconciliation Barometer Survey (SARB) – conducted annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation since 2003 as well as interrogate and reach critical conclusions on the state of reconciliation, including in the areas of economic transformation, race relations and social contact, political participation, national identity formation and transitional justice. Their findings both confirm and disrupt theory on reconciliation and social change, and point to critical new directions in thinking and policy implementation.
As uitgesproke kommenatator wat voor en na 1994 met die regering gebots het, een van die Dakar-gangers wat al in die 1980s die ANC gaan ontmoet het en wereldkenner van die Afrikaners, is Giliomee ten nouste betrokke by ons land se geskiedenis – en hoe ons dit verstaan. Hier verweef hy sy eie lewensverhaal met die van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer in leesbare, narratiewe vorm, vol staaltjies en onvertelde verhale.
When Jacob Zuma retires to Nkandla, what will be left behind?
South Africa has been in the grip of the “Zunami” since May 2009: Scandal, corruption and allegations of state capture have become synonymous with the Zuma era, leaving the country and its people disheartened. But Jacob Zuma’s time is running out. Whether he leaves the presidency after the ANC’s national conference in 2017, stays on until 2019, or is forced to retire much sooner, the question is: what impact will his departure have on South Africa, its people and on the ruling party? Can we fix the damage, and how?
Ralph Mathekga answers these questions and more as he puts Zumaʼs leadership, and what will come after, in the spotlight.
When Johan Booysen hears that the new Provincial Police Chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue, deceit and betrayal that, at times, he has trouble making sense of.
Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he comes to call the ‘cabal’ – and whom he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad with which he is closely associated.
Blood On Their Hands traces Johan Booysen’s life and career – from patrolling the streets of Amanzimtoti in the 1970s to his rise in 2010 to major general and head of KZN’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks. But his tenure is short-lived. When Booysen decides to take on those so determined to be rid of him, each legal battle he wins is met by hostility and further efforts to shut him out of the of the criminal justice system. But capitulating is not in his DNA…
South African higher education students have for the years 2015 and 2016 stood up to demand not only a free education but a decolonised, African-focused education. The calls for decolonisation of knowledge are the ultimate call for freedom. Without the decolonisation of knowledge, Africans may feel their liberation is inchoate and their efforts to shed Western dominance all come to naught.
Over the years various African leaders including Steve Biko wrote about the need to decolonise knowledge. The call for decolonisation is largely being equated with the search for an African identity that looks critically at Western hegemony. Biko sought the black people to understand their origins; to understand black history and affirm black identity. These are all embedded in the struggle to decolonise and search for African values and identities.
The contributors in this book treat several but connected themes that define what Africa and the diaspora require for a society devoid of colonialism and ready for a renewed Africa. “The discussions we develop and the philosophies we adopt on Pan Africanism and decolonisation are due to a bigger vision and for many of us the destination is African renaissance”. Everyone has a role to play in realising African renaissance; government, churches, universities, schools, cultural organisations all have a role to play in this endeavour.
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